Compliance/Financial Considerations

If you intend to do any of the following in Myanmar, please contact Risk Services at or 642-5141:

  • Hire a local to work for you as an employee
  • Purchase or lease office or research space
  • Purchase or lease an automobile
  • Establish a long-term (over 90 days) or ongoing project
  • Conduct a clinical trial 


Foreign activities may trigger many U.S. laws, including:

  • Import Controls
  • Export Controls
  • Tax Reporting
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting
  • Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Anti-Boycott Laws 

Import Controls. UC employees must adhere to U.S. import requirements, and may need to enlist the services of a customs broker, especially for shipments arriving by sea and subject to the Importer Security Filing 71730, also known as ISF 10+2. 

Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. UC’s Export Compliance FAQ contains useful information and can be found here.  Go here for the University of California plan for compliance with federal export controls. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials to Myanmar, consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120. 

Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. The United States does not have a tax treaty with Myanmar. For more information about double taxation issues, contact the Controller’s Office at:

Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department requires U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country, where accounts exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year, to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCen Report 114). Those needing to complete the form should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803 for assistance. An IRS 1040 Schedule B form (Part III–Foreign Accounts and Trusts) must be filed by the signatory for any foreign bank account, regardless of the account balance. 

Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. In general, collaborations between University personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export-controlled or -restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the University needs to determine whether export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign collaborator is not blocked or sanctioned. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, activities may be prohibited without specific authorization or license. UC’s International Collaborations webpage contains additional information on this topic.   

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is intended to stop bribery. It prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. It is also unlawful to make a payment to a third party knowing that all or part of the payment will go to a foreign official. For more information, review the federal government’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If you need further clarification, contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122. Transparency International’s 2018 survey of perceived public sector corruption rated Myanmar at 29 out of 100 (132nd out of 180 countries reviewed, i.e. corrupt).

Anti-Boycott Laws.  The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS.

For other compliance-related issues, refer to UC’s International Compliance webpage.   


Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803. Requests to open accounts must be made through the Office of the President’s Banking and Treasury Services Group by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. 

Real Estate Agreements. Only employees with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of The Regents may enter into agreements, leases, or other contracts.  Foreign affiliates or operations must submit to the Real Estate Services Office property management agreements, personal property leases, or contracts with a term longer than one year or in an amount greater than $25,000 per year. The campus then seeks approval from the University president or designee. For more information, consult the Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Affiliate Organizations and Foreign Operations.


The US State Department's page on MYANMAR may be found HERE

Personal Safety


Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at

If you are traveling to Myanmar on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here. For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.

Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic.   

Myanmar, previously known as Burma, won independence from Britain in 1948 and was ruled by a military dictatorship for decades. The country is governed by the framework of a unitary parliamentary republic under a 2008 military-drafted constitution. A civilian government has been in power since April 2016 after the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in the country's first free and inclusive general elections in 25 years, Nov. 8, 2015. The NLD won 247 seats in the lower house and 131 seats in the upper house, after being barred from participating in elections between 1990 and 2010. However, under the 2008 constitution, a quarter of all seats in the legislature were reserved for the military regardless of the outcome. The Parliament elects the president; Win Myint currently serves in this role. Myint is a known loyalist to Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD's leader who has been designated the position of state counselor (de facto prime minister) after being constitutionally barred from holding the office of the president. 

Prior to the 2015 general election, Myanmar's former government, led by the pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has already started to gradually open up the country through a number of political, economic and administrative reforms, ostensibly in response to increasing international sanctions against the regime. These include the release of hundreds of political prisoners, a degree of relaxation in restrictions on freedom of speech and internet access, new labor laws, and a number of peace deals with militant groups. The current civilian administration is considered adequately stable. However, the military continues to be frequently accused of brutality and murder in ethnic areas, which has been the source of considerable ethnic tension, fueling intermittent separatist rebellions. Ongoing ethnic conflicts, prevailing political tensions, socioeconomic strife and a contentious refugee crisis may increase anti-government sentiments in the medium term and serve to undermine political stability in the country. 

The threat of civil unrest in Sittwe is moderate. Protests by Rakhine Buddhists, particularly over issues concerning the ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims, have occasionally devolved into widespread violence. Most demonstrations are related to real or perceived policies or developments that are seen to give preferences or greater recognition to the Rohingya community. These demonstrations typically occur near government offices; protesters have previously also targeted offices of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), accusing foreign organizations of favoring the Rohingya in its delivery of aid to the region. Authorities have imposed curfews and other travel restrictions following violent protests. Rakhine Buddhists have periodically staged rallies or marches in Sittwe, calling for an end to fighting between ethnic armed group Arakan Army and the military in the northwestern past of the state. These rallies have been largely peaceful. 

The threat of civil unrest in Lashio is moderate. Protests occasionally occur in Lashio and sometimes devolve into violence. Most demonstrations are related to political issues or calls to end fighting in the state.


Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. 

Should you be detained, especially outside of Rangoon, we may not be able to assist quickly. Law enforcement officials do not routinely notify us of the arrest of U.S. citizens, and prison officials have been known to obstruct regular access by consular officers to U.S. citizen detainees.

Dual Nationality: Burmese law forbids Burmese citizens from possessing dual nationality. On occasion, Burmese authorities have detained and pursued criminal proceedings against Burmese-Americans who have returned to Burma on U.S. passports and who have had in their possession evidence of Burmese citizenship, such as a National Registration Card.

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal under section 377 of the Burmese penal code, which has provisions against “sexually abnormal” behavior and entails punishments up to life imprisonment. Laws against “unnatural offenses” apply equally to men and women. These laws are rarely enforced. However, LGBTI persons have reported that police used the threat of prosecution to extort bribes. LGBTI activists have also reported allegations of rape by security forces in some cases, arbitrary arrest (for example for loitering), detention, and broad societal and familial discrimination.